Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Control of canine cardiopulmonary dirofilariasis

Synonym(s): Control of heartworm

Contributor(s): Gad Baneth, Jorge Guerro, Mark Rishniw

Introduction

  •  Dirofilaria immitis Dirofilaria immitis is the only species of this genus of parasites causing cardiopulmonary infections.
  • Domestic dog is the major reservoir of infection for domestic canine, feline and human populations.
  • No effective vaccine exists against the disease but several highly effective prophylactic drugs are available.
  • Treatment of adult parasite infections is expensive and frequently followed by severe complications.
  • New chemo prophylactic formulations based on the use of macrocyclic lactones are successful in control provided that pet owners comply with recommendations.
  • Since mosquitoes transmit this nematode parasite any program of mosquito control reduces potential for infection to the canine population. However, at least seventy species of mosquitoes are known as vectors so vector control is not a practical alternative.
  • Current means of control are aimed at disrupting the life cycle of the parasite inside the definitive host.

The vectors

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Time of greatest risk of infection

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Adulticide treatment

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Prophylaxis of D immitis infections

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Conclusions

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from VetMed Resource and PubMed.
  • Bowman D D (2012) Heartworms, macrocyclic lactones, and the specter of resistance to prevention in the United States. Parasit Vectors 5, 138-147 PubMed.
  • Blagburn B L, Dillon A R, Arther R G, Butler J M, Newton J C (2011) Comparative efficacy of four commercially available heartworm preventive products against MP3 laboratory strain of Dirofilaria immitis. Vet Parasitol 176, 189-194 PubMed.
  • Bourguinat C, Keller K, Bhan A, peregrine A, Geary T, Prichard R (2011) Macrocyclic lactone resistance in Dirofilaria immitis. Vet Parasitol 181, 388-392 PubMed.
  • Bourguinat C, Keller K, Prichard R K, Geary T G (2011) Genetic polymorphism in Diirofilaria immitis. Vet Parasitol 176, 368-373 PubMed.
  • Bourguinat C, Keller K, Blagburn B, Schenker R, Geary T G, Pricard R K (2011) Correlation between loss of efficacy of macrocyclic lactone heartworm anthelmintics and P-glycoprotein genotype. Vet Parasitol 176, 374-381 PubMed.
  • McTier T L, Shanks D J, Watson P, McCall J W, Genchi C, Six R H, Thomas C A, Dickin S K, Pengo G, Rowan T G & Jernigan D (2000) Prevention of experimentally induced heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) infections in dogs and cats with a single topical application of selamectin. Vet Parasitol 91, 259-268 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Doiron D, Downing R, Longhofer S, Nelson C T, Rubin S, McCall J W, Knight D H & Seward R L (2002) 2002 Guidelines for the diagnosis, prevention and management of heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) infection in dogs. In: Recent Advances in Heartworm Disease. Ed: R L Seward. The American Heartworm Society, Batavia, Ill, USA. pp 259-267.
  • Guerrero J, McCall J W & Genchi C (2002) The use of macrocyclic lactones in the control and prevention of heartworm and other parasites in dogs and cats. In: Macrocyclic lactones in antiparasitic therapy. Eds: J Vercruysse and R S Rew. CABI Publishing, Oxon, UK. pp 353-369.
  • McCall J W, Guerrero J, Roberts R E, Supakorndej N, Mansour A, Dzimianski M T & McCall S D (2002) Further evidence of clinical prophylactic retroactive (reach-back) and adulticidal activity of monthly administrations of ivermectin (Heartgard Plus) in dogs experimentally infected with heartworms. In: Recent Advances in Heartworm Disease. Ed: R L Seward. The American Heartworm Society, Batavia , Ill, USA. pp 189-200.
  • www.heartwormsociety.org


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